code: the hidden language of computer hardware and software review
In a very fun manner, this book presents 3 years of introductory CS curricula: discrete structures, algorithms, logic gates, ... After reading this during two cross-country flights, I better understand (and remember) classes I took 10 years ago. Petzold first introduces the basics of boolean logic and then shows how you can combine that with electricity (starting with simple circuits using a light bulb and switches) to create logic gates. © 2020 Flatiron School. At the risk of a spoiler alert, he is also effectively introducing us to the action that transistors perform. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology.”, “In 1948, while working for Bell Telephone Laboratories, he published a paper in the Bell System Technical Journal entitled "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" that not only introduced the word bit in print but established a field of study today known as information theory. “Tie a yellow ribbon” is a binary signal with only two possible states whereas Paul Revere’s “one if by land, two if by sea” required a couple of lanterns to convey the three possible states! After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Seriously, if you are the kind of person who needs to understand where things came from to really understand them, this is a great book. by Microsoft Press, Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software. Written in 1999, the book yet actual nowadays (well, there are funny moments regarding computers' capacity and performance, and probably some other stuff but those don't matter much). I start getting the math, the logic behind all this technology that has become pretty much the center of my life today. Information theory is concerned with transmitting digital information in the presence of noise (which usually prevents all the information from getting through) and how to compensate for that. I saw immediately that the cable wire attached to the battery was missing a few inches of electrical tape, leaving the copper exposed. Rather than being satisfied with explanations like “RAM is like your tabletop and your hard drive is like your filing cabinet” Petzold takes the time to provide a rich and nuanced introduction to the internal workings of modern computers. Brail was very interesting as he pointed out how certain markers will alert a blind person to cease interpreting letters and switch over to numbers, than another nullifier to switch back to letters. It stays at the level that a programmer can relate technically to a 6th grader. I can now look around at all the electronics in my house and feel like I know what’s fundamentally going on. Charles doesnt try to explain through high level metaphors (that do a poor job of capturing the truth -- I am frustrated after picking up another apparently interesting physics book only to find it contains no math), rather, he slowly builds on simple examples. While Petzold does assume the reader is starting from scratch, I think it would be easier to follow later on if you had some background in computers/technology. Petzold then takes a detour to introduce “base” systems, working down from decimal (ten distinct numbers from 0-9 before you have to add another digit to represent “10”) through octal (you only have 8 digits) all the way down to binary where you only have 0s and 1s. Yeah, chances are that most of the devices described along the pages are familiar to many people, specially for those with education in engineering, but the way this book takes you from one to the next is as natural that new relationships start to be apparent right away and then, you finally got it !!. This book should be a pre-requisite for introductory CS classes. It carries you along from the very fundamentals of both codes (like braille) and electric circuits in the telegraph days all the way to the web in a way that even a layperson could understand, with plenty of verbal and diagrammatic explanation. In CODE, they show us the ingenious ways we manipulate language and invent new means of communicating with each other. And Petzold helps me to walk inside an electrical circuit, a telephone, a telegraph, an adding machine, a computer, and to understand the basics behind the design, of what is going on inside. It's detailed enough to give you a sense on how things work, yet not overly complicated to intimidate you. So I wanted to encourage people like me, who have no experience whatsoever in CS, to give this book a try! He has been programming with Windows since first obtaining a beta Windows 1.0 SDK in the spring of 1985, and he wrote the very first magazine article on Windows programming in 1986.
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